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G. Roukas

NY, NY
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 39
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24,984
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,710
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22,666

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fund-raising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’ worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking story of a meteoric rise and fall

  • By Jeff Koeppen on 08-14-18

Reads like a really good novel

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-16-18

I don’t write a lot of Audible reviews, but this book was so thoroughly engrossing, I couldn’t stop listening and was motivated to share. My poor AirPods went to exhaustion, re-charged, and pressed into service again. I knew the general outline of what happened with Theranos, but the details were just mind-boggling. This really shows the danger of not doing your own homework when evaluating opportunities.

  • Who Is Michael Ovitz?

  • By: Michael Ovitz
  • Narrated by: Michael Ovitz - prologue, Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395

As the cofounder of Creative Artists Agency, Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy, and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list entertainers, directors, and writers. But this personal history is much more than a fascinating account of celebrity friendships and bare-knuckled deal making. It's also an underdog's story: How did a middle-class kid from Encino work his way into the William Morris mailroom and eventually become the most powerful person in Hollywood? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yep, that's the guy

  • By T. gates on 10-07-18

I couldn’t put it down—great stories and really enlightening to hear about his journey

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I read or listen to a lot of books, and often go through several books in tandem, where I shift from one kind of book to another depending on my mood. With his one, I started and then plowed through it continuously – it was completely engrossing. I’ve heard a lot about Michael Ovitz while I was growing up, but hearing his inside story about his career was fascinating. But it was also a terrific book for the way he revealed the thought processes behind the different moves he made, both strategic and personal. I was also fascinated by his transition into technology which, in retrospect seems obvious, but I’m sure it was anything but at the time. This is one of those books I’m going to go back and reread.. I’m sure there’s a lot more in there than what I was able to get in just one pass.

Congratulations to the office for having had the guts to write this book I’m sure will be fine.

  • Strength in Stillness

  • The Power of Transcendental Meditation
  • By: Bob Roth
  • Narrated by: Bob Roth
  • Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 409
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 405

Every day, we face a growing epidemic of stress, one that is damaging our physical and emotional health at younger and younger ages. Billionaire CEOs, moms managing households, college students, people of every race, age, and income all make the same confession: "I am so stressed." It is literally killing us. While there is no one single cure, there is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life's challenges: the Transcendental Meditation technique.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing but a big advertisement

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-11-18

A terrific book on why, but NOT HOW, to meditate

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-26-18

I saw a number of other reviews that gave one star because readers expected the book to teach how to meditate, but as the author said right up front: that can only happen with the teacher in a one on one situation. That said, this book is a treasure trove of lucid explanations for why one would want to meditate. I’ve seen numerous articles and read one other book on TM, but none are as straightforward and convincing as this one. Kudos to Bob Roth for putting this little jewel out in the public

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How to Change Your Mind

  • What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
  • By: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Michael Pollan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,081

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful trip

  • By Paul E. Williams on 05-19-18

Well, he really changed my mind

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-01-18

When I was in my first year of college I tried some hallucinogens and, while the experiences were very positive, all the government warnings had me so worried I stopped taking them altogether. Now I’m wondering how much more imaginative and serene I might be if I’d continued in some way.
Pollan is a terrific writer, and reading this book amounted to a minor psychedelic journey for me. His careful research and personal observations make a great case for hallucinogens as a gateway to creativity and higher knowledge. This is a book I’ll be thinking about for quite a while.

  • The Devil in the Kitchen

  • Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef
  • By: Marco Pierre White, James Steen
  • Narrated by: Timothy Bentinck
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 436
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 436

In The Devil in the Kitchen, White tells the story behind his ascent from working-class roots to culinary greatness, leaving no dish unserved as he relays raucous and revealing tales featuring some of the biggest names in the food world and beyond, including: Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, Albert Roux, Raymond Blanc, Michael Caine, Damien Hirst, and even Prince Charles.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A chef / restaurateur must.

  • By Brandon on 07-18-16

Very funny and deeply absorbing-with plenty of great background info on Marco’s life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-13-17

For me, this book was pure joy from beginning to end. Before reading the book, all I knew about the author was that he was very gifted chef and a screamer in the kitchen. But within the first few pages I was caught up in the story of his upbringing, his training as a chef, and the culinary world he lived in. I laughed out loud in a number of places, and that’s not usual for me, and I learned a ton about cooking and gastronomy. I even got a few cooking tips along the way that I’ll be able to use in the future. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is even moderately interested in food. Bravo, Marco!

  • The Righteous Mind

  • Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
  • By: Jonathan Haidt
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,402
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,316

In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This should give you pause.

  • By Floyd Clark on 10-26-15

I wish all my family and friends would read this

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-10-17

After Trump’s election I came to see that my friends and family are widely separated lot. The liberal faction could not understand the more conservative group and vice versa. I’m not saying that this book will cure the rift, but I do believe it provides a framework for those who truly want to understand others. If you’re listening to this book, I recommend you skip to the last two chapters so that you have a good understanding of where it’s going and then start with chapter 1. I plan to re-read the entire book, but I also plan to try to get as many family and friends to read those last two chapters as possible. They are pure gold for understanding.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sprint

  • How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  • By: Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz
  • Narrated by: Dan Bittner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

The companies that Google Ventures invest in face big questions every day: Where's the most important place to focus your effort, and how do you start? What will your ideas look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution to a problem? Business owners and investors want their companies and the people who lead them to be equipped to answer these questions - and quickly.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Advice, But It's All Old News

  • By Michael on 08-19-16

Full of great ideas!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-26-17

I loved reading this book, not only for the background on design sprints, but also for the hundreds of little nuggets interspersed throughout the book. There's so much good information in here, much of it backed up by oh my experience, that it really is the kind of thing that everybody in business should read.

  • So Good They Can't Ignore You

  • Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Dave Mallow
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,623
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,152

In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed - preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work - but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping. After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Counter to all the "Passion" Career Lit

  • By Erin on 06-12-13

Every high schooler (and above) needs this advice!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-29-17

I've always felt there was something lacking in the idea that you should follow your passion to find your work, but couldn't put my finger on it until reading this book. Cal Newport has a gift for tearing down fairly complex subjects and then proving them piece by piece so that by the end of the book you can't help but agree. I sent copies of this book to both my adult children and hope that they can glean something from it in their careers.

But the ultimate compliment I can offer Newport is that when reading his books I never am tempted to skip to the next chapter or bypass any of the material. He holds my attention throughout, and that's rare.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Thank You for Being Late

  • An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
  • By: Thomas L. Friedman
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 19 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,915
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,584
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,572

In his most ambitious work to date, Thomas L. Friedman shows that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration - and explains how to live in it. Due to an exponential increase in computing power, climbers atop Mount Everest enjoy excellent cell phone service, and self-driving cars are taking to the roads. A parallel explosion of economic interdependency has created new riches as well as spiraling debt burdens.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It really is an optimists guide to scary stuff

  • By Adam Shields on 12-12-16

Great book! A little fluff.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-08-17

I really loved reading this book and have thought about sending it to friends with small children so that they can at least read the first two sections. I know I would have raised my kids a little differently if I'd had it back then. The section on Moore's law was exceptional and only omitted the mention of quantum computing taking us on a joyride that Moore never anticipated.

The climate change section was heartbreaking, and my great fear is that that cow has already gotten out of the barn. Time will tell.

My only minor complaint is that the last three chapters essentially amount to an autobiographical rendering of the author's childhood in Minneapolis and, while I understand his point, I think it could've been shrunk to one third the size he gave it and still made the point adequately.

I also very much like the reader. Readers have funny affectations in their voice that show up even more dramatically when you are at 1.25 or 1.5 speed. This one had great diction and clarity at all speeds.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Peak

  • Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
  • By: Robert Pool, Anders Ericsson
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,068
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,701
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,678

Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career of studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Offers more wisdom than even intended

  • By Tristan on 07-10-16

Incredibly useful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-01-17

I listen to a lot of audiobooks, most admittedly for entertainment, but it's rare to find a book that is so incredibly useful in day-to-day life. The idea that by shaping practice in a particular way toward a goal can yield such outstanding results is very powerful. The concepts are carefully described and the authors provide compelling evidence that they work. I can't wait to start applying them to what I'm learning.

I only wish I'd had this book when my kids were younger. I would have changed a lot about their upbringing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful